Using Jack Hammers Efficiently and Safely

Jack hammers are also referred to as pneumatic drills and they are mainly used in the breaking down of roads, concrete pavements, and rocks. Jack hammers find plenty of use in mining and excavation duties as well as in construction projects. In the latter task, the jack hammer finds most use in demolition duties as well as in building foundation settings.

General Properties of the Jack Hammer

A jack hammer has a drill-like chisel on its bottom end and supporting handles on the upper end. The power on this tool is immense and greatly eclipses the capacities of any chisel and hammer combination in getting the job done. Jack hammers exist in several types all geared towards being optimally effective for the individual task at hand. The pneumatic drill is air-powered. It is a portable tool which is hose connected to an air compressor. The hydraulic jack hammer is different from its pneumatic drill cousin in that the operating power is courtesy of a liquid as opposed to air. The third type of these handy tools is the electric jack hammer. This tool is proper for minor construction jobs like in the house for example. It does not require much force to operate and having plugged it into an electrical socket the user can start on the job right away.

Before you use the Jack Hammer

Using any type of jack hammer efficiently and safely requires adequate precautionary care on the part of the individual. Knowledge on the operation of a jack hammer is a prerequisite that cannot be taken for granted. With such knowledge you will be able to more accurately determine whether the tool is in proper shape for use to begin with. All the components should be tightly secured and in prime working condition. Allied parts like the air hose should be free of cracks and breaks. The electrical cords should similarly be free of damage. Before starting on the job always ensure that the rating on the jack hammer will be sufficient for the task you have in mind.

Once the right jack hammer has been selected it is time to start. The distance from the compressor to the workface should be enough to sufficiently reduce the noise level. Jack hammers are quite weighty and lifting them anyhow can cause injury to the back – the leg muscles should be used in doing this.


At the work site the operator is advised to have the electrical cord slung over his back to preempt incidences where electrocution can result from cord damage. The proper way to move the jack hammer is to have your hand between the operating lever and handle. 

In the course of drilling the jack hammer should be held at a slight angle toward you. This position keeps the tool in control and also avoids it getting stuck in the workface. When not in use the jack hammer should be disconnected from the power supply and the pressure relieved. Only then can worn parts be replaced. In terms of parts, different surfaces require different drilling points. Chisel points are used for concrete while rock points and spade points are used for rock and asphalt surfaces respectively.  

Personal safety is of the essence when using a jack hammer. The operator should be dressed in proper attire which consists of sturdy gloves, steel-toe boots, sturdy long-sleeved shirts and long pants or overall, eye protection, and hearing protection. Operators should also beware of extreme and sustained vibration which has been known to result in Raynaud’s Disease – a condition that impairs hand blood flow.